FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas – Following a fall of holiday-themed concerts, the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra welcomes spring with Orchestral Masterworks featuring a trio of works by the great composers Ravel, Sibelius and Elgar. The February 17 performance, under the musical direction of Dr. Héctor Agüero, begins at 2 p.m. at the Stafford Centre, 10505 Cash Rd in Stafford.
The concert opens with the beautiful Karelia Overture by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. This nationalistic piece celebrates the simple but noble spirit of the people of Karelia, a historical province of Finland that is now divided between Finland and Russia.
Also featured is Maurice Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante defunte, a piece that suggests how a princess would have danced a slow processional in the Spanish courts in earlier times. Both the original piano composition and the orchestral version that followed express the enthusiasm Ravel, a French composer, held for Spanish customs.
The first half of the concert concludes with an amazing performance by pianist Christina Strohmann, winner of the 2013 FBSO Young Artist Concerto Competition.
The second half of Orchestral Masterworks is devoted to Edward Elgar’s Variations on an Original Theme for Orchestra, commonly called Enigma Variations. History holds that Elgar began playing a theme on the piano, then altered it slightly to reflect the characteristics of his friends. The resulting composition features 14 people in the variations, starting with Elgar’s wife and ending with a self-portrayal.
“Although FBSO concerts always include classical music, this is the first one since I became music director in 2008 that features all classical music,” said Agüero. “Orchestral Masterworks is a wonderful opportunity for our audience to listen to, and enjoy, music they might not know. The program will also provide a great challenge for our players! They have asked for a program like this so I’m excited to finally program for their needs.”
Adult tickets are $12 and $17. Discounts are available for seniors 55 and over, students, military and groups of 10 or more. Tickets are available at fbso.org or by calling 281.276.9642.